Lot n° 43
4000 - 6000
Tulipière aux scènes bucoliques
Iran, Qajar art, 19th century
Of baluster form, with a high flaring neck surrounded by seven small necks, in siliceous paste, with underglaze painted decoration in cobalt, turquoise, violet, almond green and brown, the body decorated with two couples of lovers drinking, alternating with two seated musicians, separated by shrubs, the base of the body with a motif of bottles, lotus flowers and birds, the necks enhanced with undulating stems in vertical registers. Workshop mark on the base. A few rare fusions of colors, a small chip on the neck.
H. 28 cm
This type of vase with multiple necks has been attested in Iran since at least the 17th century, as can be seen in examples preserved in major European collections (e.g. Victoria & Albert Museum, inv. 874.1876). Our tulip pot is directly inspired by these past models, even in the composition and iconography of its decoration, which evokes that of the historiated vases of the Safavid period (see previous example). This painted decoration, of a very high quality, is stylistically and technically close to the great productions of wall tiles of the second half of the 19th century. These tiles decline all the great themes of classical Persian imagery (princely and bucolic scenes, horsemen and hunters, portraits of sovereigns etc.), reinterpreted and updated, notably by the use of a color palette where dominate, as on our vase, deep blues, browns, turquoises, almond greens and parmas. A tile of this type is preserved in the Louvre Museum (inv. MAO 902). Shaped pieces are rarer, but can also be linked to the workshops of the greatest master ceramists (Watson Olivier, "Almost Hilariously Bad: Iranian Pottery in the Nineteenth Century" in Behrens- Abouseif, D., Vernoit, S. dir., Islamic Art in the 19th Century. Tradition, Innovation and Eclectism, 2015, pp. 340-42). A very fine collection of these shaped pieces was recently the subject of a groundbreaking exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art, Malaysia. Our vase, which bears a workshop mark and shares with the latter pieces a quality of execution rarely observed, was probably the object of a special commission; to date, no comparable example is known to us, a sign that it was certainly not produced in series.
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